World Rivers Day Is Sept. 28

With many of the world's rivers facing severe and mounting threats associated with climate change, pollution, and industrial development, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) and the Canadian branch of the United Nations (UN) Water for Life initiative are encouraging countries and conservation groups around the world to participate in this year's 4th annual World Rivers Day on Sept. 28.

"Rivers are the arteries of our planet and yet many waterways continue to suffer from inadequate protection and inappropriate practices," says Mark Angelo, program head of the Fish, Wildlife and Recreation program at BCIT.

Angelo initially founded the Rivers Day event in British Columbia before lobbying numerous organizations and agencies of the UN to recognize World Rivers Day in 2005. The day marks a global response to the need to better manage and conserve river ecosystems and celebrates the many values of the world's waterways while encouraging appropriate action to better protect rivers and streams. The event is also intended to compliment the UN's world-wide Water for Life initiative.

Endorsed in its inaugural year by UN agencies such as the United Nations University and the International Network of Water, Environment, and Health, World Rivers Day events can and will include river cleanups, fish enhancement projects, stream restoration initiatives, workshops, educational programs, and community riverside festivals. Last year, events took place in Canada, England, Poland, the United States, Taiwan, the Congo, Togo, West Africa, and Dominica.

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